Image: Honey cake.
Last Updated: August 2021
Current Status: There are a few tables inside. Take-away is always an option. Open 10:00 am to 8:30 pm. Closed Mondays.
Overview: The small space just south of Columbia Road on 18th Street specializes in Azerbaijani pastries, both sweet and savory. It is the thinly-layered slices of honey cake that are probably the most talked about, with a restrained sweetness mixing with ethereal crème and cake. The Azerbaijan version of baklava is pakhlava, and uses sugar water for moisture rather than the Greek honey-drenched version most are used to. The style tracks with the other sweet items we tasted that used nuts and spice rather than lots of sugar. Breakfast is served starting at 10:00 and looks like it will get you through to dinner. The place has three high-top tables inside. It is counter service. It may not scratch the doughnut itch, but it might instigate a new kind of craving.
The woman behind Sharbat is Ilhama Safarova, who moved here when her daughter came for college. The amazing story is that Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian first tasted Safarova’s treats when they were sent to Safarova’s brother in care packages he got while being held in the same prison in Iran as Rezaian. She moved here, he urged her to open a bakery. He pushed Tom Sietsema to try the sweets. Tom fell hard and gave them a positive review.
Washingtonian: No coverage
DonRockwell.com – No thread yet
Eater: Stephanie Williams profile a couple months after opening in 2020.